On Tuesday, Democrats in Florida are projected to flip a mayoral seat in the biggest city controlled by a Republican mayor after the official nonpartisan election for mayor of Jacksonville, Florida, was won by Democratic candidate and former TV anchor Donna Deegan over her Republican opponent, Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce head Daniel Davis, in the contest to replace termed-out GOP Mayor Lenny Curry.
Deegan will become the first woman to serve as the mayor of the state’s most populous city and only the second Democrat to hold this position since the early 1990s.
In both state and local politics, Jacksonville, which was combined with the rest of Duval County in 1968, has long been a stronghold for the Republican Party. With Mayor Ed Austin’s 1993 party switch, the GOP took over city hall, and President Ronald Reagan’s victory in 1980 launched a Republican winning streak that would last well into the twenty-first century.
Deegan is ahead, 52% to 48%, with 182 of 186 precincts reporting, providing Democrats an unexpected victory just months after Republicans won the state in the 2022 Midterm Election.